ATLANTA — In an update Thursday, the operator of the East Coast pipeline that had to be shut down after a ransomware attack, setting off a run on gasoline that emptied supplies in major cities across the Southeast, said deliveries of fuel had resumed.
Colonial Pipeline, based out of Alpharetta, had said the previous night that operations on the pipeline - which supplies about half the fuel to the East Coast - had begun to resume.
In an updated statement on Thursday afternoon, the company said it has restarted its entire pipeline system and deliveries have resumed again in all markets.
Earlier in the day, the company said it had "made substantial progress in safely restarting our pipeline system and can report that product delivery has commenced in a majority of the markets we service."
The U.S. Energy Secretary, Jennifer Granholm, said on Twitter that the progress "should mean things will return to normal by the end of the weekend."
"By mid-day today, we project that each market we service will be receiving product from our system," the Colonial Pipeline statement said. "This would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the many Colonial team members across the pipeline who worked safely and tirelessly through the night to get our lines up and running. We are grateful for their dedicated service and professionalism during these extraordinary times."
Experts have said that even with normal operations resuming, it could take days or even weeks to replenish supplies at retail gas stations.
Many gas stations keep enough reserves on hand to make it through a period of shortage, but the rush of panic-buying this week emptied out those reserves.